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malteser

Dinner in Surrey/Greater London?

59 posts in this topic

Hopefully you'll have some great recommendations for me, its my husbands birthday next tuesday and i'm looking for somewhere really nice but that doesn't involve going into central London.

These areas are easy to get to:

surbiton/kingston/richmond

wimbledon

redhill/reigate

guildford/godalming/esher/cobham etc

putney/fulham at a push

teddington/twickenham

hope you can help.

m.

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If it is still going, I can really recommend RIVA in Barnes

The last time I went ( some years ago I have to admit ) the food was beyond excellent as was the service.

S

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The Glasshouse at Kew - a Bruce Poole affair (Trying to impress Andy :wink::wink:

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If you change your mind:

In Knightsbridge, just along from Harrods, I would recommend

Racine, 239 Brompton Road, London SW3. Tel 020 7584 4477.

The wonderful food and service, in luxurious surroundings, does not come at a wallet-puckering price. In fact, you can have a three-course meal with wine for around £35 a head, which, tragically, is almost unheard of anywhere in London, never mind in this chichi part.

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I would certainly agree with The Glasshouse. It's been refurbished since I went earlier this year apparently. Anthony Boyd is a very talented chef, great wine list, great cheese and very charismatic service. Its a busy, noisey room however.

I would also heartily recommend McClements in Twickenham. I have had two near perfect meals there, although the last was more than 2 years ago. It's a "neighbourhood" restaurant but the standard of cooking was sky high. The AA award it 2 rosettes, but give it a 3 rosette review http://www.theaa.com/restaurants/77683.html . Hugely enjoyable in my opinion. They have a website http://www.mcclementsrestaurant.com/

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I would certainly agree with Simon's recommendation of RIVA in Barnes. (an AA GIll fav. if I remember - not sure if that constitutes a recommendation here!) Although it's been over a year since I was there last, the food and service were outstanding and the robust italian cooking is a nice change from the style that dominates many Italian restaurants.

Alternatively, you could try Phoenix Bar & Grill, 162-164 Lower Richmond Road (SW15). We've not eaten there yet, but it's on our hit list. Franco Taruschio (ex Walnut Tree) is consultant and his protege Simon Kealy is chef. I seem to recall that it opened to pretty good reviews.

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Thanks for the welcome Simon. I'm looking forward to participating a little more in the future.

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This should be a very interesting topic as I live in Guildford and I have found the area good for breakfasts and pub food but definitely lacking in top restaurants (hopeless for Italian) - however so far you've only recommended Kew and Barnes which is nowhere near my area and doesn't really answer all the questions.

One thing. is Riva really as good as you say?? The fact AA Gill like it is a plus as he does like 'real' Italian food (see my comments on the topic that mentions me today!).

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And for my tuppennyworth - can't help with all the areas you mention:

In Surbiton there used to be a very nice restaurant called Luca in Maple Road. This has been replaced by a French set up called The French Table and, although I have not been, reviews lead me to think this place well worth a visit.

Richmond was covered in a recent thread and there were some useful suggestions: Richmond

For my view on The Phoenix see here: Phoenix Note that the new TimeOut restaurant guide hated the pasta dish I loved - they just didn't get it. I guess one man's meat is another man's poison and all that...

I work in Fulham but never eat out there - have quite enough of Fulhamites around me at work and don't want to find myself dining with them. In Putney there is Del Buongustaio - not worth a trip in my opinion, Enoteca Turi - good Italian although this time TimeOut gets it right - their coffee is crap - incomprehensible after such good food. Putney Bridge is very top end of the market and in a wonderful setting by the river, although I've been walking past a lot recently and there is an unhealthy feeling to the place. The expensive menu (c. £40?) looked completely uninteresting but the cheap one, around £20 for lunch I think, appeared well worth it.

East Sheen has Redmonds on the Putney end of the main road. A good, classy restaurant I have been to a few times although there was a little tousle over the bread last time I was there about a year ago - the bread was good but the waiter was being mean with it. I guess you'd call it modern British cooking.

As Andy says, The Glasshouse in Kew has had a recent refit - I walk past it every day. The paintings have gone and are replaced by a textured wall and clever lighting. Very dependable if not over exciting food. You have to be prepared to accept a sittings policy as the place is packed out every night. I have also, in the past, detected a certain anti-female attitude there which prejudices me somewhat. It was probably only certain members of staff, but those kind of impressions stick. If you are going to bother to go to Kew, then I would recommend that you go instead to the Glasshouse's sister restaurant in Chiswick, La Trompette. Similarly good food, service and decor - but all on a higher level of achievement.

I used to work just round the corner from McClements in Twickenham and my old boss loved the place. I only went there once about 5 years ago and was less impressed than he and therefore refused his offers to take me subsequently. Maybe this was my loss. I found the cooking a bit old-fashioned, pretending more than it achieved. I have a memory of heavy food and over-reduced Marmite-ish brown sauces reappearing in several different dishes. However, at the time I think the restaurant was going through a lean period and seems to be doing much better now. To be added to my list of places to be visited.

Riva in Barnes I have been to twice, once about 3-4 years ago and then about 2-3 years ago. The first time was a revelation - I still remember the Mozzarella starter. The second time was a complete let down. The owner spent the whole time schmoozing with that creep, Nick Foulkes, in the corner and as a result service was crap and food altogether disappointing (NF is always going on about how Riva is his favourite restaurant - not surprising judging by the amount of attention he was getting). I had a dish purporting to be sturgeon, which I have the fondest memories of eating in the past, and got served something that I swear was mackerel - cooked in a fatty sauce. Can you imagine anything more disgusting? Added to that my stomach was a little delicate from an upset I'd had a couple of weeks beforehand and the result was Vanessa wandering around Barnes and Mortlake like an idiot in total agony, unable to find a toilet. So, the temptation to return to Riva is not so great.

Other places in Barnes include Sonny's, a relation of The Phoenix I believe, and the unbelievably pretentious MVH on the junction with White Hart Lane. This is on my walking route to work and astonishes me every time - no restaurant name outside or menu. Just a pair of stag's antlers! God knows what the eating experience is like.

Kingston has a good Thai restaurant, Ayudhya, at the bottom of Kingston Hill. As usual, I haven't been recently but it still merits a red star in the Time Out guide. Otherwise I believe Kingston is something of a restaurant desert.

I have a work colleague who has lived in the Redhill/Reigate area for many years - I'll pick his brains tomorrow and re-post.

v

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Vanessa, great post thanks for taking the time. I had heard that Riva is no good unless you are a celeb or a regular and your story seems to bear that out.

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Sorry I'm a bit late :unsure: but if you want a top quality Chinese meal, I acn recommend The Good Earth in Esher. Food is excellent, and the wine list also.

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In Surbiton there used to be a very nice restaurant called Luca in Maple Road.  This has been replaced by a French set up called The French Table and, although I have not been, reviews lead me to think this place well worth a visit.

I'll vouch for The French Table, I had a good meal there during the summer, unfortunately I can't remember (at the moment) what I ate, my other half might be able to help later on but I do remember that they sold Chateau Musar at a reasonable price and we managed to drink 3 bottles of it :biggrin:

It was also very reasonable.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Wot ... no votes for Monsieur Max in Hampton Hill ??

v tasty down-to-earth French cooking, but sadly no longer as cheap as it used to be.

(and Vanessa, could you talk us through your route to work please - I can't figure out where you start from, if you walk through Kew and Barnes on the way to Fulham :unsure:

Stewie

PS Greetings all

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Thanks to all of you who posted, RIVA is now on my list as well as a few others mentioned.

I live in Surbiton and still haven't been to The French Table although a few years ago went to Luca and really didn't rate it at all which is probably whats putting me off - crazy I know !

Peter - just wondering if you have been to the bel & the dragon in Godalming? Some friends are taking us there in a couple of weeks and I'd be interested if you've been.

Vanessa - Ayudhia is a favourite as well as a local, and one of the best outside of Thailand in my opinion. If you haven't been recently you must go, its always good.

There's also a good Italian in Surbiton/Tolworth called Sorrento's which is always packed. Wagamama's in Kingston is also excellent when you want something quick, fresh and v.cheap!

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Peter - just wondering if you have been to the bel & the dragon in Godalming?  Some friends are taking us there in a couple of weeks and I'd be interested if you've been.

Vanessa - Ayudhia is a favourite as well as a local, and one of the best outside of Thailand in my opinion.  If you haven't been recently you must go, its always good. 

There's also a good Italian in Surbiton/Tolworth called Sorrento's which is always packed.  Wagamama's in Kingston is also excellent when you want something quick, fresh and v.cheap!

Yes, quite a few times but I must be honest and say that I wasn't too impressed. I would be very interested in your opinion when you go.

The Woolpack is quite good and reasonable and, for pub food, the dessert's are really magic!

Let me know what you think of Riva as it seems to breed differences of opinion. I speak Italian better than English (which is not great considering I'm a Brit!) so maybe it's a time for Superlinguist! (I'm not actually joking too much as it's amazing how the doors open when you speak the lingo - and you get better food IMHO). :rolleyes:

Does anyone know of Dim Sum in my area?????

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Stewie Mac - I work near the north end of Putney Bridge - so I cut to the river in Kew, follow it to the pub by the junction with White Hart Lane, through the alleyways in Barnes to the Common, across the common to the cemetary on Putney Common, then along the Lower Richmond Road (via a simple cheap bakery with jam doughnuts and croissants to die for) to Putney Bridge. Voila! A beautiful walk on mornings as we have been having for the last couple of months although a bit much to do every day.

As for Monsieur Max - well the famous Renzland twins of Essex-sur-mer (before one of them copped it) used to hang out in Kew. So I learned not to be tempted by a restaurant of their's long ago. The French wife of my old Twickenham boss also found the 'Max' experience to be pretty toe-curling.

v

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I would highly recommend the french table, lovely place, 3 course lunch around £15

Also place called Michels in ripley gets good reports

Take a look at www.yourbestlocal.com which covers walton(where i live)weybridge,surrey etc,kew,chiswick,richmond etc

have fun x

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I had a good meal at The Fire Stables in Wimbledon a while back, but that is more of a pub/restaurant, so maybe not what you want for a special occasion. Worth a look though. I am pretty sure it won some sort of Time Out award recently.The chef won a scholarship and trained with R Blanc at Le Manoir, I think. :unsure:

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The chef at the Fire Stables when it won the the Time Out award was/is Frances McKellar, who opened her own short lived restaurant in Kennington before taking over at the Fire Stables. Have been there a couple of times and found it to be very good, it is more of a restaurant than a pub albeit in a very noisy 'neighbourhood restaurant' sort of way. however I have noticed that it is not in this years Time Out guide and before going there again I would check who the chef is now.

Paul

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Forgot to mention Riva, it is probably my favourite Italian restaurant in London, granted there's not much competition. It specialises in fairly 'rustic' generally northern italian cooking, the menu rarely changes except for the addition of some occasional specials. The service is very much Italian trattoria style, they leave your food and wine and let you get on with it (totally opposite to Locatelli) and 2/3rds of the waiting staff are Polish so Peter you may not get all that far with your Italian.

Paul

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2/3rds of the waiting staff are Polish so Peter you may not get all that far with your Italian.

Paul

Point taken, but what about the owner?!!! :biggrin:

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I know it's leaving it a bit late, but here are the results of the brain-picking of my colleague for the Redhill/Reigate area. Please note that these opinions are his, not mine.

Redhill: no restaurants of note but a very good pub with restaurant-type fare. Small, need to book, looks like nothing on the outside but very pleasant within: The Joshua Tree.

Reigate: 2 restaurants of note: La Barbe - French obviously and for high prices and excellent service: The Dining Rooms in the High St, above a restaurant called Si

Bletchingley: King Charles - restaurant in an old building on the high street with 'exquisite food'

Godstone: Green Rooms and on the South Godstone Road going towards East Grinstead: La Bonne Auberge, under the same ownership as La Barbe.

This all comes from a guy who has the misfortune to live in the same village as Edwina Currie!

v

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Peter

Andrea Riva the owner is Italian, as is the chef as is one of the waiting staff who never actually says anything (I'm beginning to make this sound quite strange, which it isn't).

Paul

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as is one of the waiting staff who never actually says anything

Maybe he doesn't say anything because he doesn't speak English? :wink:

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